I am sitting quietly and watching the painters cover up fifteen years of my memories, one by one with each stroke of the paint brush life as it was becomes remote and unrecoverable.

We are painting after fifteen years and replacing the carpet after twenty three years. we had moved into this house shortly after Tariq was born.

My mind is running a marathon, but I am hitting a wall, where I am unable to think and feel anymore, I decide to check out the people who are carpeting the rooms, and there in begins a new journey of the closets.

I am amazed how one bedroom can fill just the contents of one closet. I open Shireen s closet it is empty she has already stashed the important stuff out of sight, deep in the recesses of her room.

I walk through the connecting bathroom that the children have shared growing up and stand in Tariq’s newly carpeted room, he would have enjoyed the clean look. His tux and his sadris remind me that he is not there to use them.  I want someone to use them and yet it seems callous to throw them in the faceless pile going to Goodwill.

I turn away and spot his signature hat lying on the floor of the closet. My heart is not full, nor are my eyes brimming with tears at its sight just a regret…………of circumstances that made him unhappy sometimes by those very close ones…I decide to shut that door mentally. Regret and “if” opens the door to Shaytaans’s whisperings and waswasas, according to our Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

I walk back to Shireen’s room, where Tariq’ s things have been stashed, for now. His awards are spilling out of a box and his hockey from Pakistan and tennis racket are symbols of good times and travels gone by.
He has not taken anything with him, he does not need anything where he is except our duas, and yet…………..I find it hard to let go of these last vestiges of material memories.

I am on this journey alone; Paul and Shireen have disappeared, partly due to circumstance and some due to choice.

img_2099Avoidance is the style of some to deal with grief. I find that avoidance just allows the grief to steal into my heart and mind stealthily and surprise me, paralyzing me into inaction.

Thus I continue to journey alone…….. In his drawer is an album, a step-by-step illustration of the process of restoring his love.

He spent one year lovingly restoring an old 68 Camaro, working every weekend at the car garage, loving every moment of it……..and now it stands in our garage untouched and veiled in sorrow.

Material things…..I must learn to detach the memories from material things, these things don’t represent Tariq, nor does a diamond ring represent love……and yet I hesitate, and feel helpless as the colors of my memories fade and are  replaced one by one…….. by others.

6 thoughts on “THE COLOR OF MY MEMORIES……….

  1. Jazaaikallah hu Khairan, I can feel the love and the hug for the sake of Allah my dear sister.
    May Allah bring you the joy of your children, inshallah.


  2. A I wish I was there to hug you..May The Al -Wadood, The Rahman envelope you in tranquility, solace, sakeenah & may He The Al-Aleem grant you the highest level in Jannah for accepting His Decree with such forbearance.May He comfort your heart & fill it with peace.Ameen.I feel your pain & make dua for your steadfastness…remember during this challenging time Allah will i.A. reward you beyond imagination for your sabr …He loves you ..& you are not alone.. we are all praying for you to attain’qalbe saleem’., knowing that i.A. Tariq must be in Jannah waiting for his beloved mom.


  3. Zubaida wa laikum asalaam wa rahmatullah hi wa barakatahu,
    May Allah reward you for the Rahma you have in your heart and may all your duas come true and may you see your children follow the path of Deen in happiness.


  4. Waliakum Asalaam wa rahmatullah he wa barakatahu Brother,
    Alhamdollillah! you are doing in eleven months, what has taken me three years to do. ……….Inshallah you are on on the fast track to His (SWT) path and you are not alone!
    May Allah SWT draw you closer to Him every moment and surround you with His Rahma.


  5. Dear Sister,
    What a coincidence. Only last week I did almost the same thing with Nabeel’s room. Nabeel’s mom has gone to South Africa for a conference and I thought that this was the best time. I along with Nabeel’s best friend, our driver, took out all his staff and cloths, cleaned them, put them to sun and then put them back. It took us 3 days. It is amazing the staff that he had collected. We were both crying as we went through his cloths, his CDs, computers, lap tops, guitar, flute, toys, letters to his mom, his old school books and what not. I even found a card that he made for me when he was five.
    Sister, my wife has not touched any of this and has not even looked at a picture of Nabeel in last one year. She has not gone to the cemetery once. The burden of Nabeel’s memories and the burden of shielding my wife and my parents from these memories are getting too heavy for me. I wish I could just close my eyes and take a long long rest.
    May Allah (SWT) give you the strength. Pray for me so that I can bear the burden


  6. Assalaamu alaikum,

    I got tears in my eyes Asma. May Allah SWT provide the best shifa for all of your heart aches and take your whole family to Jannathul Firdouse to live eternally with Tariq in shaa Allah, aameen.


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